Ellsworth School District is giving parents the opportunity to learn how to help their students through anxiety and depression by hearing from a panel of professionals.
Panelists include Amber Morgan, a pediatrician from River Falls; John Klem, Program Director and Associate Professor in Rehabilitation and Counseling at UW-Stout; and Renee Van Nocker, therapist at Marriage and Family Health Services.
The free informational event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Ellsworth elementary school community room.
"I think that educating parents, being their support, is important. It takes a village to raise a kid," said Karli Bozyk, Mental Health Coordinator with the Ellsworth Community School District. "It's not just up to parents and not just up to school staff, we need everybody to be on the same page. We've had parents who don't know what to do, they're at a loss."
Bozyk said she will have prepared questions for panelists to guide the event such as "How do I know if my child is experiencing anxiety or depression?" and "How does anxiety and depression look different for teenagers compared to children?"
There will be time at the end for parents to ask their own questions.
Bozyk said the district hosted a similar educational panel for the staff, which was appreciated and helpful.
"We wanted to open it up for parents," Bozyk said. "It's free and all are welcome, it's for all student age groups."
Because of a grant received from the state to fund mental health support initiatives in the Ellsworth School District, the schools are able to host events like this one to raise awareness and educate parents on mental health.